** out of ****
In 2010, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg teamed up for the cop comedy The Other Guys. For both men, it was a high-water mark in their careers. They attempt to recapture the magic in the family comedy Daddy’s Home, but the new project mostly fizzles.
The movie was filmed in and takes place in New Orleans. Ferrell plays a doting stepdad to a son and daughter. When his wife’s (Linda Cardellini) ex-husband (Wahlberg) returns to America after being overseas, Ferrell suddenly becomes insecure. His insecurities are justifiable, too, as Wahlberg is not so subtly maneuvering to replace Ferrell.
Part of the problem is 75% of the movie is Ferrell and Wahlberg engaging in a seemingly never-ending battle of one-upmanship. The movie would’ve been better served if this had been only a smaller portion of the movie (Ferrell’s Anchorman would have been a much weaker comedy if his warring with Christina Applegate had taken up most of the film). Some of the funnier moments here come from supporting players Thomas Haden Church (as Ferrell’s mostly supportive alpha male boss) and Hannibal Burress (as a handyman).
Daddy’s Home doesn’t have the off-putting nastiness of Ferrell’s other recent New Orleans comedy Get Hard, but it coasts on auto-pilot when it could’ve pushed its characters to more interesting (and funnier) places.